One of the biggest mysteries this season in the Southeastern Conference is Tennessee. As a result of the disappointing 9-4 season which saw the Vols fail to capture the SEC East title after an offseason of full-throttled hype, head coach Butch Jones made a number of changes to his coaching staff. So far, those results have helped propel the school to one of the nation’s best recruiting classes but how those changes affect the results on the field remains to be seen.

With CG Technology recently releasing the opening over/under lines for every nationally prominent college football program, much of the talk in Knoxville lately has been centered on Tennessee’s 7.5 number. Current odds for the Volunteers’ 7.5 number are even for the team to go over, and -130 to go under. For what it’s worth, based solely on those odds, CG Technology is anticipating more bettors initially take the over — but not by a wide margin.

Judging by recent predictions by ESPN and FOX Sports college football writers, CG Technology knows what they’re doing.

Both Edward Aschoff and Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN like Tennessee to go over the number, while Aaron Torres of FOX likes Tennessee to fall under the number of wins.

While all three writers point out the loss of quarterback Joshua Dobbs and his importance to the Tennessee offense over the years, they fail to mention the added intrigue regarding first-time play-caller and offensive coordinator Larry Scott. How the team deals with so much uncertainty at the game’s most important position may prove to be the ultimate factor for Tennessee in 2017.

Despite the unfamiliarity at QB and OC, give Jones credit for hiring Mike Canales to come on as a full-time quarterback coach this offseason. Given his 32 years of coaching experience, 23 of which are as an offensive coordinator, there likely won’t be any scenario come up he hasn’t seen this fall. For what it’s worth, Canales has already proven to be a terrific addition to the staff on the recruiting front as four-star QB Adrian Martinez and three-star QB Michael Penix have both committed to Tennessee since his hire.

It is undoubtedly a big year for Tennessee dealing with so much turnover on and off the field and entering the season without much hype heading into the summer. In what feels like a program-defining season for Jones’ Rocky Top program, will the Vols rise to the challenge or continue to falter under the pressure as the program attempts to inch ever so close to becoming nationally relevant once again.